I keep reading articles claiming that the future CEO of Microsoft should dump Bing and sell or get red of Xbox.

Personally I am very confused about these ideas. Yes, Microsoft invested enormous amounts of money in both, but:

  1. In an ecosystem based industry, you need to offer consumer services for video, music, books, etc. and Xbox is the best platform to do so for Microsoft,
  2. Dumping the consumer business would be dangerous because the line between consumer and professional is often very thin,
  3. Search is too strategic to leave it to your competitor,
  4. You cannot divide Search from other online services such as translations, maps, etc. and these are vital in an ecosystem of services not to mention devices (see Nokia Maps for example).

Plus it is good for consumers that there is some competition to Google search and iTunes...